Curtis Mathes was an American electronics company known for its televisions, radios, and stereo consoles. While it may not have had the global reach of brands like RCA or Motorola, Curtis Mathes carved out a niche for itself, especially in the American South, with its quality products and a reputation for excellent service. We cover the Curtis Mathes stereo console history for you.
Early Years and Growth
Curtis Mathes was founded by Curtis H. Mathes in 1957, in Austin, Texas. The company initially made a name for itself with its line of televisions, which Mathes famously advertised with the slogan “the most expensive television set in America and darn well worth it.”
Expansion into Stereo Consoles
In the 1960s, Curtis Mathes expanded its product line to include stereo consoles. Like their televisions, these units were often housed in beautiful handcrafted wooden cabinets, making them not just audio equipment but furniture pieces that added elegance to any living room. They typically included an AM/FM tuner, a record player, and in some models, a television set.
Popular Models from the 1960s and 1970s
- Curtis Mathes Kingston Stereo Console: The Kingston was a popular model in the 1960s. It featured a solid-state AM/FM tuner, a record player, and a television set. The Kingston was known for its quality construction and sound, its elegant wooden cabinet, and its innovative design.
- Curtis Mathes Danish Modern Stereo Console: This was a popular model in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It featured a more minimalist, modern design compared to other models, with clean lines and a sleek appearance. The Danish Modern included an AM/FM tuner and a record player.
- Curtis Mathes Provincial Stereo Console: The Provincial, popular in the mid-1970s, was another high-quality console that included an AM/FM tuner, a record player, and an 8-track tape player. Its wooden cabinet was designed in the French Provincial style, adding to its appeal as a piece of furniture.
Later Years and Legacy
Curtis Mathes, like many other electronics manufacturers, was affected by the transition to more compact and portable audio technologies in the late 1970s and 1980s. The company shifted its focus away from stereo consoles and towards other electronic products. However, their stereo consoles are still sought after today in the vintage electronics market for their nostalgic appeal, robust construction, and quality sound.